Bellator 58 Undercard Gets Araujo-Barbosa, Sharipov-Mello


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Farkhad Sharipov meets Fabio Mello in a new addition to the Bellator 58 card. | Photo: Keith Mills


Two new bouts have been added to the Internet-broadcast preliminary card for Bellator Fighting Championships 58, this Saturday at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Fla.

Promotion sources Monday confirmed to Sherdog.com that Kyrgyzstani wrestling convert Farkhad Sharipov will take on Brazilian import Fabio Mello at bantamweight, while American Top Team submission artist Ailton Barbosa will face Valdir Araujo at welterweight. Both fights will be part of the Spike.com live undercard stream.

The MTV2- and Epix-televised portion of Bellator 58 is set to be headlined by lightweight champ Eddie Alvarez, who defends his belt against fourth-season tournament winner Michael Chandler in a scheduled five-round affair. In addition, company middleweight ace Hector Lombard will face veteran Trevor Prangley in a non-title, 195-pound catchweight affair, and recent featherweight tournament finalist Marlon Sandro will meet countryman Rafael Dias.

Fighting out of Gracie Barra Orlando, 27-year-old Sharipov has compiled a 13-4 mark during his four-year MMA career, 10 of those wins coming by way of unanimous decision. He holds a 1-1 record in the Bellator cage, having most recently dropped a split decision to flyweight standout Jessie Riggleman in September.

Mello, 36, holds an 8-6 record and has been stopped only once in his 10-year career, a 2004 loss to Pride Fighting Championships lightweight ace Takanori Gomi. The American Top Team representative in January returned from a year-plus hiatus to take a split decision over another Pride veteran, Charles Bennett.

The winner of Bellator’s June open tryouts in Florida, Barbosa made his promotional debut at Bellator 50 in September, finishing Ryan Keenan via rear-naked choke in less than two minutes. The 35-year-old currently rides a six-fight win streak and has finished eight of his 10 career victories via submission.

A native of Bahia, Brazil, Araujo now trains with MMA Masters in Miami. He drops to welterweight following an unsuccessful middleweight debut with Bellator which saw Araujo thumped by two-time tournament participant Brett Cooper.

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